Decision details

Dedicated School Grants (DSG) Review

Decision Maker: Cabinet

Decision status: For Determination

Is Key decision?: Yes

Is subject to call in?: Yes


The purpose of the report is to present to the Scrutiny Committee the initial findings and recommendations of the dedicated schools grant (DSG) review. To gain agreement to progress the review recommendations through governance and consultation.
The review of the High Needs Block expenditure financed by deployment of the DSG had been commissioned by Stockport Schools’ Forum and senior leaders within the Local Authority (LA). The review was commissioned to:
1.Ensure that the High Needs Block is financially sustainable
2.Ensure that the spend in the High Needs Block is transparent to all parties
3.Ensure that the High Needs Block has the maximum impact in supporting young people with special educational needs and disability (SEND) within Stockport to achieve they achieve the best outcomes
The review has focussed on spend in the DSG high needs block which covers:
•Place funding and top up funding for specialist settings (i.e. special schools, resourced provision bases and pupil referral units (PRUs)).
•Support as outlined within an education, health and care plan (EHCP) for additional educational needs in mainstream schools, specialist settings and Post 16 establishments.
•Independent School Fees for the SEND cohort
•Specialist support services (i.e. Sensory, learning support, etc.); and
•Other SEN/Inclusion support services and activities. Including those to young people excluded from school.
The review was commissioned in recognition of the need for the following:
•To ensure that the high needs block in the longer term is financially sustainable in line with Medium Term Financial Plan (MTFP) recommendations
•To ensure that there is transparency to all parties in relation to spend in the block
•To ensure that the high needs block has the maximum impact in supporting young people with SEND within Stockport to achieve the outcomes identified as being strategically priority
The Head of Commissioning - Improved Services was tasked in June 2019 with completing the review and then produced a 6-month timeline to gain the information, with completion of initial findings and writing up taking place in early 2020. The review has largely stuck to the proposed timeline. There has been a gap in the governance process due to proposed local elections and then the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic upon governance structures. The review has been overseen by a subset of Stockport Schools’ Forum and an internal LA Management Group made up of senior officers.


The Cabinet has considered a report detailing the initial findings and recommendations of the dedicated schools grant review and has given approval to the undertaking of a proportionate and appropriate consultation on with various affected stakeholders on the detailed proposals outlined in Section 4 of the report, with the consultation window running between July 2020 and November 2020 with various consultation exercises conducted throughout this period.

Alternative options considered:


Interests and Nature of Interests Declared:


Reason Key: Significant expenditure or savings;

Wards Affected: (All Wards);

Equality and/or Environmental Impact Assessment: Yes, please see attached.

Decision Reference: CAB228

Declarations or conflicts of Interest: None.

Other reasons / organisations consulted


Contact: Bev Milway, Services to People Email: Tel: 0161 218 1785.

Report author: Nayuri Patel

Publication date: 24/06/2020

Date of decision: 23/06/2020

Decided at meeting: 23/06/2020 - Cabinet

Effective from: 01/07/2020

Accompanying Documents: